WJCC School Board moves to dismiss civil suit

The Williamsburg-James City County School Board filed a motion to have the civil suit against it dropped, denying all allegations by two parents earlier this year, according to Williamsburg-James City County General District Court documents.

The School Board filed its Grounds of Defense March 20 via its lawyers, Jeremy Capps and Douglas Pittman, in the lawsuit claiming $25,000 in damages by John and Sandra Magda.

The Magdas filed a civil claim for money with the courts Jan. 3.

According to court documents, the family claims the board owes them "legal fees, damages resulting from school bullying," for their daughter, who they say was bullied at Clara Byrd Baker Elementary School in spring 2015.

The case came before a judge Feb. 6 and was continued to April 24, so more documents could be filed by both parties.

The board's motion is a response to the detailed account of the family's claims, filed with the court as a Bill of Particulars.

The Magdas claim the School Board and Clara Byrd Baker staff did not follow federal and state law, and did not adhere to in-house policy, according to the court documents.

The Grounds of Defense responds to line-by-line, denying the allegations and laying out why the Magda's claims should be dismissed, according to court documents.

"The School Board avers that Plaintiffs lack standing to pursue the alleged claims contained in Plaintiffs' Bill of Particulars," the defense states. "Defendant Williamsburg James City County school Board, by counsel, denies that it is liable to Plaintiffs John and Sandra Magda in any amount whatsoever and moves that this action be dismissed and the Plaintiff be ordered to pay the cost incurred."

The Magda's Bill of Particulars claim the board violated federal laws — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Act — which the board denied. The schools stated in defense the county court does not have jurisdiction for federal law, according to court documents.

Sandra Magda did not return a request for comment. School Board Chairwoman Kyra Cook declined to comment citing the pending lawsuit.

A judge is scheduled to decide whether to agree with the School Board's request for dismissal or to hear arguments in the case at an April 24 motion hearing in General District Court.

Williams can be reached by phone at 757-345-2341.

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